“The War On Internet Addiction”

This news article is giving me nightmares. In China, they are treating Internet addiction like drug addiction, and addressing it with mental health instititions and electric shock therapy. From a syndicated Washington Post article (this stuff quoted from the Boston Globe)…

‘The Chinese government in recent months has joined South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam in taking measures to limit the time teens spend online. It has passed regulations banning youths from Internet cafes and has implemented control programs that kick teens off networked games after five hours.’There’s a global controversy over whether heavy Internet use should be defined as a mental disorder, with some psychologists, including a handful in the United States, arguing that it should be. Backers of the idea say the addiction can be crippling, leading people to neglect work, school, and their social lives.’But no country has gone quite as far as China in embracing the theory and mounting a public crusade against Internet addiction. To skeptics, the campaign dovetails a bit too nicely with China’s broader effort to control what its citizens can see on the Internet. The Communist government runs a massive program that limits Web access, censors sites, and seeks to control online political dissent. Internet companies like Google have come under heavy criticism abroad for going along with China’s demands.’In the Internet-addiction campaign, the government is helping to fund eight in-patient rehabilitation clinics across the country.’

And then, looking at one of the clinics…

‘Led by Tao Ran, a military researcher who built his career by treating heroin addicts, the clinic uses a tough-love approach that includes counseling, military discipline, drugs, hypnosis, and mild electric shocks.’

I’m sure there are some really thoughtful responses to this article somewhere deep in my brain, but for right now… I have no words. Well, I have a few. But I try to keep this a family-friendly site.

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